Tom Anderson on the Google+ and Facebook War

Today Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed some of their upcoming changes that will be launched in the next little while. There has been quite a lot of discussion on Google+ today about how big of a change is coming up.

Remember MySpace? Nah, me either. But it used to be the biggest site out there…One of the people that ran Myspace was Tom Anderson. All kidding aside, Tom Anderson has a great perspective on how to run a social network. He’s now a user on Google+, and gave some commentary on the wars going on between Google and Facebook, and how the changes are going to end up benefiting Google in the end. Here is his commentary for you…

Why Facebook’s New Vision is Good for Google+

I sat back in awe watching Zuckerberg at F8 today. Facebook has done it again — they are always reinventing themselves, always pushing toward the future. They’re so good at incorporating other ideas at the right time ( and leaving out ideas, when the’re too early.

Many people have messaged me on G+ saying that the new Facebook looks like MySpace of 2008. Customizing profiles with modules, music, video, news. There’s some truth to that. But MySpace (even under my leadership) was a rudimentary and often poor implementation of those ideas. It’s also true that people may have not been ready for MySpace back then. (Not to mention that web standards and bandwidth may have not been ready.)

The thinking behind Facebook and MySpace have always shared some basic tenets, if not from the outset, at least by late 2004:

1) Everyone will be online. Some old folks will learn. The young will swim in it.
2) Everything gets better online when you can socialize around it / talk about it.
3) People want a “place” on the web, to be found, to communicate, and represent themselves.

These are some of the basic reasons these sites are so popular. Facebook gradually got better than MySpace at realizing all these basic ideas. The one they were never that good at was “representing” the individual. That will probably change with this new launch. There’s a chance Facebook could execute poorly and things won’t work as well as they hoped, but that’s not likely. Facebook generally gets things right over time.

So if Facebook keeps getting better & better, and keeps delivering on the basic promise of “social networking,” how is that good for Google+? It’s good because with the changes announced today, Facebook becomes quite different. I wouldn’t say that today’s Google+ is too much like today’s Facebook. But I will say, that to succeed in the long run, it’ll have to be different. And it just got easier to be “different.”

Here is the link to read the rest of the post. Oh, and while you’re there, sign up for Google+!
via Google.


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